Hi! My name is Hayden Reeve! You might recognize my last name as I am the daughter of one of the Mamas! I am going to tell you about my experience at YouthWrite®. For a little introduction, it is a non-profit organization with camps for children who love to write. There is also a separate camp for adults who also enjoy writing! Today though, we are going to be discussing the camp for, well, youth!
Something that I think is quite important and an absolutely excellent characteristic about YouthWrite is the fact that they have a figuratively speaking, bubble type of deal around them.
At the camp, there is absolutely no place for hate. Not of any kind. One of the first things they tell you is that no racism, homophobia, sexism, etc etc will be ignored and it could result in you being kicked from the camp.
I believe that this is something we all can agree on, making the camp a safe place for anyone. At the camp, I also noticed a lot of things they did to create a safe place for those of any gender, race, etc etc. Overall, they work very hard to make sure (and I cannot say it enough) it’s a safe space for everyone.
Where to get your Charcuterie Boards and Charcuterie Boxes In Alberta
It’s going to be the summer of the picnic, and there’s no better (or fancier) way to picnic than a charcuterie in Alberta. Picture yourself on a hike in the mountains, your favourite hill, in a botanical garden, or even on a pasture (see Open Farm Days in August). Here’s where you can grab a charcuterie “to go” across the province.
Bow Valley (Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Exshaw, and Kananaskis)
Banff Graze Co.
Banff Graze Co. is great for those that live in the area, but also a terrific idea if you’re travelling to the Bow Valley and want to have something special for your lunch hike, or try a charcuterie board instead of eating at a restaurant while you’re in town.
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I decided we needed to get out and do something as a family, and I knew from friends that you book time slots at the U of A Botanic Garden, so it would be COVID Friendly. Hubs and I checked the weather, booked it on a day when the weather was supposed to be great and then my husband let me know he’d actually never been. The guy grew up in Edmonton but hadn’t ever been to the gardens so I was excited. I myself haven’t been since the Aga Khan garden opened – doubly excited.
We had to wear masks throughout the whole garden, which was understandable.
My kids love the Japanese Garden so we always go there first, trying to spot the coy fish.
For those of you familiar with the Devon River Valley Trail in Voyageur Park, right on. For those of you who don’t, go. Especially if you have early bird kids, or if you are one!
A friend and I went on a Saturday morning, met at 530AM in the parking lot, and by golly, nary a soul in sight. We didn’t run into one person on the path and upon returning to our vehicle, there were just a few fellas fishing under the bridge.
There are a few fire pits with picnic tables along the river that would just be amazing with the fam jam and the “beachy” part we came across would entertain my kids for HOURS just throwing rocks in. Didn’t bring them this time – mama needed a break but next time!
I am that mom. While we all used to have adventures, tips, and fun stuff to share with you, this pandemic has me at a loss.
My family doesn’t go anywhere.
The most exciting thing we’ve done in the last year is a walk in the River Valley, right after that little dump of snow. It was magical, and our COVID pup Missy enjoyed herself immensely. My poor daughter had a hard time getting back up these stairs, cause, well, we don’t do anything!
And we checked out one of the Edmonton swings, just you know, for something to do on the weekend.
I don’t have the ambition or drive to plan anything.
My kids spend A LOT of time on their devices. Most of the time it is connected to their friends via Kids Messenger while playing games, and this is essentially their socialization outside of school so I’m not taking that away from them. I want to run away completely. The mountains, the ocean, anywhere but here. But hubs and I both work, and we need to work and we are lucky to work. And we don’t really have anywhere to escape to. I also am very cheap and don’t want to spend money….cause maybe if I save it, when this is all over we can go somewhere so far away and cool, it’s like COVID was just a blip.
The beauty of our great province of Alberta is most evident in the diversity and uniqueness of Albertans. Albertans come from all corners of the Earth. They come from different cultural and religious backgrounds.
On April 13th, over 115,000 Muslim Albertans will be observing the Holy Month of Ramadan. This is a month of heightened spirituality which includes prayer, reading Qur’an, fasting, and giving charity. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dusk to dawn. A total of about 19 hours. This means Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, intimacy, and worldly desires during those hours. Also, Muslims are expected to control their tempers and behaviors.
If you want to be a good Ally, Ramadan is a great time to start. As you can imagine, fasting such long hours can take a toll on your co-workers. Although they will do their best to maintain their work, their energy, and their friendly personality they may need a little support from you. So how can you support your Muslim Coworkers? Here are some pointers to help you out.
Cold War Bunker Hike in Canmore Alberta
Hiking with kids is always… interesting. I find that if I can entice mine with an end goal to hike to they do MUCH better. Usually we try to find a hike with water (lakes, rivers, waterfalls, etc) to get to but this time we wanted something different so we tried the Cold War Bunker Hike just East of Canmore.
When you tell the kids there is an old abandoned cave to explore at the end of the hike they move FAST!
Apparently this was built during the Cold War to house important documents for the Canadian Government in case of disaster. Construction for this project started in 1969 but ended before it was completed. At this time we can’t find any information on why they stopped construction.
The caves go further back than we expected so we highly recommend bringing a couple of flashlights to explore. We used our cell phone lights but having flashlights would have been better.
This trail is easy to do and can be done in all seasons. It is a 4km hike with slight elevation at the end but I would say it is a relatively easy hike for most families. You can see more details on the hike on AllTrails here.
To get to the trailhead:
- Park in the Heart Creek Trail parking lot.
- There are two parking areas once you turn off the highway. Park in the West one.
- At the far West side of the parking lot you’ll see a sign about bears. You found the trail!
In June 2020, I found myself pregnant with my second child. I rolled my eyes at becoming a part of the now famous “Covid-baby club.” It’s a popular club for a reason and I was now a happy member. We had just recently and successfully hosted our 8th annual SkirtsAfire Festival in March, about a week before the lockdowns began. I remember enjoying the spring and the start of summer, feeling optimistic that in a month or two, things would return to normal and we would all get back to our festival city as planned. Then slowly but surely, things started getting postponed, then canceled, and our case numbers took a sharp turn for the worse. Through it all, as I grew this baby mostly isolated to my home, we planned for SkirtsAfire 2021: a return to indoor in-person performances in a safe way.
Having a baby in a pandemic is different. This baby will be welcomed into the world with masks and the strong scent of hand sanitizer and the rough touch of overly-washed chapped hands. No gatherings of friends and family to hold and kiss the fresh being that just entered the world. Instead, there will be more screen time than I’d like to admit my newborn will have, more time spent with me on my phone texting and emailing pictures and updates, more time spent alone, just our small family. I think of my friends who have had babies in 2020 who have no family in the city, most out of the country even, who have had no relatives allowed to visit and have no known date in the future they’ll get to meet the new addition. My sisters live in Hong Kong and I don’t know when they will get to meet their new nephew. Things I never thought I’d need to feel sad about before.
SkirtsAfire in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse and daring”. Things are a little different this year, but it will still be 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!
We have taken in their 2017 through 2020 MainStage Productions as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. This year they will be bringing the heart of SkirtsAfire into your home! Check out SkirtsAfire’s engaging online content as well as outdoor offerings, where you can expect a covid-safe trip around Old Strathcona experiencing art, design, and music.